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Spain (Spanish: España [esˈpaɲa] (About this sound listen)), officially the Kingdom of Spain (Spanish: Reino de España), is a country mostly located on the Iberian Peninsula in Europe. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.

With an area of 505,990 km2 (195,360 sq mi), Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, and the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the sixth largest in Europe and the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid; other major urban areas include Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Málaga and Bilbao.

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Coat of Arms of Spain

The Spanish Constitution of 1978 is a culmination of the Spanish transition to democracy. The history of Spain in constitutional terms dates back to 1812. Following the death of Francisco Franco in 1975, a general election convened the Constituent Cortes, the description of the Spanish Parliament.

A seven-member panel was selected among the elected members of the Cortes to work on a draft of the Constitution to be submitted to the body. These came to be known, as the media put it, as the padres de la Constitución or "fathers of the Constitution". These seven people were chosen to represent the wide (and often, deeply divided) political spectrum within the Spanish Parliament, while the leading role was given to then ruling party and now defunct Unión de Centro Democrático. Writing the preamble of the constitution was considered an honour, and a task requiring great literary ability. The person chosen for this purpose was Enrique Tierno Galván. As well as this, the constitution recognises the existence of nationalities and regions.

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Pedro Almodóvar with Penélope Cruz

Pedro Almodóvar Caballero (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpeð̞ɾo almoˈð̞oβ̞aɾ kaβ̞aˈʝeɾo]) (born September 24, 1949 in Calzada de Calatrava, Spain) is a Spanish film director, screenwriter and producer. Almodóvar is the most successful and internationally known Spanish filmmaker of his generation. His films, marked by complex narratives, employ the codes of melodrama and use elements of pop culture, popular songs, irreverent humor, strong colors and glossy décor. He never judges his character's actions, whatever they do, but he presents them as they are in all their complexity. Desire, passion, family and identity are the director's favorite themes. Almodóvar’s films enjoy a worldwide following and he has become a major figure on the stage of world cinema.

Pedro Almodóvar Caballero was born on September 24, 1949 in Calzada de Calatrava, a rural small town of Ciudad Real, a province of Castile-La Mancha in the administrative district of Almagro. La Mancha is the windswept region of flat lands made famous by Don Quijote. He was born as one of four children (two boys, two girls) in a large and impoverished family of peasant stock. His father, Antonio Almodóvar, who could barely read or write worked most of his life hauling barrels of wine by mule. Almodóvar's mother, Francisca Caballero, turned her son into a part time teacher of literacy in the village and also a letter reader and transcriber for the neighbors. When Pedro was eight years old, the family sent him to study at a religious boarding school in the city of Cáceres, Extremadura, in the west of the country, with the hope that he might someday become a priest.

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In the news

8 November 2018 –
The Mossos d'Esquadra announces that on September 19, 2018, they arrested a man planning to assassinate the Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sánchez. (BBC) (The New York Times)
6 November 2018 – European migrant crisis
In two separate incidents, there are a total of at least seventeen migrants killed after they attempted to cross the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa to Spain. (Reuters)
4 November 2018 – 2017–18 Spanish constitutional crisis
The leading judge presiding over the investigation of the 2017 Catalan independence referendum and the director of the Operation Anubis Juan Antonio Ramírez Sunyer dies suddenly at the age of 71. (El Mundo)
2 November 2018 – 2017–18 Spanish constitutional crisis
The Spanish Attorney General seeks jail terms for Catalan independence leaders for the crime of rebellion with the highest requested penalty being 25 years against Oriol Junqueras. The State's Advocacy is asking for prison sentences for only the lesser crimes of sedition and embezzlement. (Reuters)

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